You know Rob, we are talking about ARDS, but maybe we need to tell people a bit about not only it, but ourseleves and about how ARDS has changed us.
So, here goes nothing. I'm 21 years old and about 2 1/2 years ago had my life changed around because of ARDS. ARDS-four deadly letters, that the general public has no clue about-yet, it kills more people each year than AIDS-150,000 people in the US alone get it every year and between 50-80% of these people will die from it. ARDS doesn't care who you are, it doesn't care if you're male or female, black or white, rich or poor, child or adult-ARDS can be caused by a number of things-I did a walkathon twice in two years from a woman who died from it who got it from a sinus infection. A sweet, littel 9 year old boy, Justin, died after battleing cancer twice, winning each time, and than getting ARDS. You can get it from shock to the body, blow to the chest, surgery-knee surgery is a big one I am finding out, pneoumina, staph infecton, and the lists goes on and on.
ARDS doesn't end if the patient surivies and gets sent home-it has lingering effects-both physical and emotinal. I talk to people that are on oxygen for life because of it. A lot of surivior suffer depression and/or PTSD because of it. I, myself, am one of the lucky ones-I have most of my lung capicty back. I just need to use daily inhalers and carry my other inhaler with me whereever I go. I sitll can't get over the memories though-the memories of having a ninth chest tube put in. The memory of haiving the doctors talking about glueing my lungs to my chest walls for they kept getting holes in them-it didn't come to this point thank God. The memories of being hooked up to life support, machines peeping, a feeding tube coming out of my nose. The memory of not being able to communicate because I had a trach in, and not enough strength to write, and when I could finally write, I would write letter on top of letter because my cordontion was gone. The memories of hell, of what they called phsyical and occuptinal therapy, how everytime I sit up I would vomit, even though there was no food in me because of the pancertitis that I got from the steroid treatment which saved my life. The memory of taking my first painful steps. The memories of crying and not being able to stop afraid I would never be able to go home. These memories goes on and on-I'm a real person, and this happens to real people. ARDS needs to be known, and along with Rob, I plan on doing this. Thank you.
"The future is not only tomorrow, but the next second that comes, and anything can happen in a second." Penny
Penny are you still out there? Still reading these lists? I am also an ARDS Survivor, only in my case, it just happened recently. I went to the hospital on Thanksgiving day, 2002, by ambulance because of bad stomach pains and confusion and high blood sugars (I am type 2 diabetic.) Everyone thought I just had the flu. In the ER they decided I had pancreatitis, but because my sugars were now up over 600 (they were so high they could no longer be read on the machines) they decided to admit me to the ICU and give me insulin by IV. I spent the night there and I had a CT scan the next day, and I don't remember anything more until a month later. I was half awake and half asleep, I didn't know where I was, my hands were restrained because I was pulling out tubes, I was seeing faces in the ceiling lights and the nurses desk outside of my room would rotate to the ceiling sometimes. I was terrified. As soon as the vent was out, and I was eating clear liquids and my kidneys were working again, they transferred me to a regular unit, and then 5 days later, sent me home. I had to relearn everything. I couldn't even lift my arms, or sit upright, let alone walk, bathe or dress myself. I was starting to get better, then I developed a DVT in my right leg, probably from being so immobile, and was back in the hospital for 5 more days. Anyway, now I am going through the post trauma thing, major depression, memory loss, concentration problems, balance problems, and I am desparate to talk to someone who has also gone through this. Thanks for listening to me.
ARDS is a hard thing for even health-care practitioners to learn about, because it has so many causes, and usually means one thing.
Respiratory care practitioners are quite often very well-versed in dealing with ARDS, mostly because respiratory care practitioners (like Respiratory Therapists,) are the ones who are constantly watching the patient and taking care of the life-support ventilator.
But many people still mistake them for nurses, and they've gotten to the point where they just don't care anymore, and don't bother to correct people who call them such. It's too bad.
i am a surviver of ARDS from a staph infection sepsis which lead to life support, coma, dialysis, trach collaspe lungs. i spent 3 momths in the hospital in albany, ny and was a miracle i survived. i will be 2 years in MAY 2001 since that terrible day and still unable to return to work. i have nerve damage, blood clots in both legs, neuro problems, excertion level very low still, aniety, renal problems and limited use of left arm and lost some sight in my right eye due to blood brockage and still have short term memory problems and assortment of painful joints. i hope you doing better then i have. take care rob ,
Rob, Are you in Albany now? I was in Phoenix, Arizona when I was sick, but as soon as I could fly, my mom moved me out to NY where the rest of the family was because she didn't want me living alone anymore. I really miss Phoenix! Now I am in a small town, and I don't think spring will ever get here. It was 80 degrees when I left Phoenix, on Feb 1st! I am now about an hour north of Albany.
i hope you feeling better and can get back to phoenix, because the weather here is lousy. i live just south of albany about 30 miles in a small town. i was at st peters and albany memmorial hospitals and waiting for some warmer weather the winter was very bad this year. i can help in anyway answersing any questions just ask. i get alot of information on the ARDSIL.COM web page, you may want to check it out and there is a discussion section which is very good. take care rob